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The sars-associated stigma of SARS victims in the post-sars Era of Hong Kong
This article explores the disease-associated stigma attached to the SARS victims in the post-SARS era of Hong Kong. I argue that the SARS-associated stigma did not decrease over time. Based on the ethnographic data obtained from 16 months of participant observation in a SARS victims' self-help group and semistructured interviews, I argue that the SARS-associated stigma was maintained, revived, and reconstructed by the biomedical encounters, government institutions, and public perception. I also provide new insight on how the SARS-associated stigma could create problems for public health development in Hong Kong. As communicable diseases will be a continuing threat for the human society, understanding how the disease-associated stigma affects the outcomes of epidemic control measures will be crucial in developing a more responsive public health policy as well as medical follow-up and social support service to the diseased social groups of future epidemic outbreaks.
Ethical and Legal Challenges Posed by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
The appearance and spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) on a global level raised vital legal and ethical issues. National and international responses to SARS have profound implications for 3 important ethical values: privacy, liberty, and the duty to protect the public's health. This article examines, through legal and ethical lenses, various methods that countries used in reaction to the SARS outbreak: surveillance and contact tracing, isolation and quarantine, and travel restrictions. These responses, at least in some combination, succeeded in bringing the outbreak to an end. The article articulates a set of legal and ethical recommendations for responding to infectious disease threats, seeking to reconcile the tension between the public's health and individual rights to privacy, liberty, and freedom of movement. The ethical values that inform the recommendations include the precautionary principle, the least restrictive/intrusive alternative, justice, and transparency. Development of a set of legal and ethical recommendations becomes even more essential when, as was true with SARS and will undoubtedly be the case with future epidemics, scientific uncertainty is pervasive and urgent public health action is required.
© Institut Pasteur
A note on language
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No
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